New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Fiction

Posted on Aug 11, 2017 |

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine



Eleanor Oliphant is a unique, memorable character. She spent most of her childhood being shuffled around different foster homes and schools. For the last nine years she’s worked at the same stultifying office job and doesn’t believe she deserves better, although when she gets a crush on a local musician, for the first time in her life she makes some effort with her appearance.

Eleanor has difficulty understanding social cues. She’s like an anthropologist studying a foreign culture. There is some humor in some of her observations, like when the coffee shop wants her name to put on the coffee cup, and she freaks out about them invading her privacy as if it were a matter of national security.

But she gets through these experiences with the help of Raymond, a man from the IT department at her office who makes poor sartorial choices and whose facial hair that could use some updating. They become friends when they help a man who collapses on the road. They go back to check on him in the hospital and meet his family, who are all grateful for their assistance. Through weekly lunches and visits to the man they rescued and his family, Raymond and Eleanor’s friendship blossoms. Eleanor needs that support to finally face the tragedy of her youth. Until now, she’s always though that as long as she had food, shelter, and clothes, that’s all a person needed . . . she’s completely fine. With Raymond’s and some other’s help, she learns there is more to life than simply surviving.

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